Family of Teen Killed in Van Walks Out of City Meeting

Kyle Plush's family found councilman's remarks 'insensitive'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2018 12:54 PM CDT
Councilman 'Crossed the Line': Family of Teen Killed in Van
In this Tuesday night, April 10, 2018 photo, a minivan is removed from the parking lot near the Seven Hills School campus in Cincinnati.   (Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

The family of the 16-year-old fatally crushed by his minivan's backseat, despite two calls to 911, stormed out of a Cincinnati City Council meeting Tuesday. After five hours of testimony about Kyle Plush's death at the special meeting, Councilman Wendell Young offered his closing remarks. "On the day you lost your son, it seems to me everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong," he said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I don’t know that any level of finger pointing or witch hunting is going to change that." He went on, per an Enquirer columnist, to paint the meeting as a waste of time and imply that no one person was to blame for Kyle's death. "I don’t mean to sound insensitive. ... But there’s no amount of money that’s going to make you happy." That's when the Plush family got upset.

"It's not about the money," said Kyle's father, Ron. Then Ron's brother Robert spoke up, per WCPO: "That's the most insensitive thing I've ever heard. You guys were doing great until this guy started talking. I'm sorry, you've crossed the line. You have crossed the line. We're out of here." He then got up and left, with the rest of the family following him. Young, who continued speaking for about a minute after that and insisted he hadn't meant to come across as insensitive, left shortly thereafter, and another council member noted, "I think the family had it right. I think they left here with the sense that we weren’t going to get it right." The hearing had been full of testimony about longstanding problems with the city's 911 system; few new details were offered about Kyle's death specifically, but the police chief said he hopes to complete his investigation within 10 days. (More Cincinnati stories.)

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